opposition in another light.
The pitiless storm of public hate beat upon him for thirty years. Malice — personal, political, religious — watched his every act, dogged his every step, and yet no breath of suspicion ever touched his character.
Out of that ordeal he comes with no smell of fire on his garments; the boldest malice never gathered courage to invent an accusation.
Son, brother, husband, father, neighbor, friend, reformer, in private life, in business, or holding office, no man ever suspected him of anything but the bravery of holding opinions which all hated, none could confute, and of acting them out at the risk of property and life, and the actual sacrifice of all common men love.
How few have such an epitaph!
We who knew him, when we read of Hampden
resisting ship-money, or Sidney going to the block, feel that we have walked and lived with their fellow.
Scholars watched him, and thought of Plutarch.
Narrow sectarians scrutinized him, and wondered how one lacking their shibboleth wore so naturally graces they only prayed for. Active, stanch friend, wise counsellor, liberal hand, serene worker,--like the stars, “without haste, without rest!”
Let us thank God for the sight, for the example!
He would tell us to spare our words, saying, he had only tried to use his powers honestly.
His best praise is our following his example, and each fearlessly obeying his own conscience, and doing with his might whatever his hand finds to do for his fellowman.
Let us so do him honor; and as the great Englishman
said of his friend: “There's none to make his place good,--let us go to the next best,” so of thee, dear comrade and leader of many years, thy place is sacred forever to thy memory!
We go to the next best, till God gives us to see thee once again, face to face I